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“Good location, looks better from outside then inside”

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The Principal London
Ranked #434 of 1,089 Hotels in London
gent
Level Contributor
106 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Good location, looks better from outside then inside”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2012

When you arrive at Russell square the facade of the hotel looks just great: old charm and class.
Nice start but not a good point in managing expectations.

If you would bring this hotel as a 3*** to the market probably nobody would complain. But the 4**** and the facade (and the price) make you expecting more.

Some rooms are far better then others, some are refurbished, some are large. I stayed 3 times in this hotel and from the room pictures you couldn't tell it was the same hotel.
Basics are all there and OK with some details NOK (some paint missing, windows needed to be replaced, ...)

Staff is professional but not warm nor welcoming

However great location in Bloomsbury, tube around the corner, not too far from St Pancreas.

keep in mind:
No gym
Breakfast: quantity over quality
Wifi: "easy way": buy scratch card at reception, set up account with full information, login, ... , average signal in room, average speed...must be joking.

If you can get it for a reasonable price (this is London) and keep in mind what to expect it is a decent option.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank artica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices_10, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, November 4, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor. I am sorry to read that you were disappointed with certain aspects of your stay.

Please do let me assure you that we have been assessed and are proudly a four star hotel. I am sorry to read that you felt otherwise.

Due to the age and size of the building, as you have discovered, each room has its own unique shape and charm. Each room has been individually furnished and decorated to capture its ambiance, hence no two rooms are exactly alike. Some guests have specific preferences such as a bath, shower, bed type and we endeavour to meet their requests where possible as we do want their stay to be as relaxing and comfortable as possible.

We understand the importance of breakfast and hence our full English breakfast buffet consists of a wide variety of dishes freshly prepared for our guests each morning. We receive many compliments on this as we have ensured that our menu will suit any palate. We can also accommodate any dietary requirements if informed in advance.

We are excellently located within walking distance of many transport links as well as some of London's great attractions and I am glad you found our location so convenient.

We do have gym vouchers available in our reception for a nearby gym and do advertise this throughout the hotel, I only wish you had informed us of your request.

The internet vouchers are used across all of our hotels and normally the details required and easy access steps are not a problem,however will share your comments with our internet provider.

I do hope that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Hotel Russell in the not too distant future. If there is specific room that you have enjoyed in the past please do let us know when making you booking and we will endeavour to book this for you

Kind Regards

Yiannis Constantinou
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,867 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 30, 2012

This hotel was right in the middle of London, net to the tube station and within walking distance of main attractions.
The rooms were adequate although expensive for what you get. The food was good, although we did eat out most of the time. The service though was very good. I would stay here again if the price was right.

Room Tip: Do not get a room on a lower floor as the noise from the tube station can be disturbing. Try for the...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mj05dgv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices_10, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor. I am delighted that you had a wonderful stay with us.

We are a stone's throw away from many of London's great attractions as well as many transport links and I am so pleased that you found our location so convenient.

Please do let me assure you that our prices are in line with other leading hotels in the area,however we do have special offers each month which you can view on our website.

Each room has been decorated to capture the charm of our magnificent structure and we ensure that all the necessary amenities are available for each guest as we want your stay to be as comfortable and relaxing as possible.

I do hope that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Hotel Russell upon your next visit to London.

Kind Regards

Yiannis Constantinou
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2012

We chose this hotel for the location, which was the only good part of our stay. Had to stay here two nights due to flying standby. The staff is absolutely terrible, embarrassing for the hotel. We were kept up until 1am from a wedding reception on a Sunday night, and were woken up at 6am to recycling glass, which is very loud. Upon check out, we mentioned this unfortunate situation, and it was completely dismissed. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, we came back to try for one more night, because the location was hard to beat. Had to 30 more pounds for the exact same room as the previous night, and after explaining the situation again to the staff from the previous night, they still acted like it was work for them to book me a room. There is no customer service practiced at this hotel. If you can get past the most unwelcoming, and most unhelpful staff there is, you may be able to tolerate the cracker box size rooms.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ritam1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices_10, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, November 4, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor. Please accept our sincere apologies for the disappointment you experienced on your recent visit.

We do have weddings and events at our hotel, however ensure that we have a noise controller in place to prevent any disturbance to other guests. We also ensure that guests that are not attending the function are placed on higher floors as a further precaution. The functions all end at 12 midnight and is not usually a problem for our other guests. To our knowledge a guest that was attending the wedding complained about the recycling bin which arrived slightly earlier than anticipated and this has since been addressed.

I am sincerely sorry if you felt that our team did not assist you and can assure you that this was not the case. The normally receive many compliments on their friendliness and helpfulness. The room rates change on a daily basis and we will of course ensure that guests are comfortable during their stay. If you would like to discuss your concerns further please do contact our Guest Relations Executive, Bebita Dhaya at bebita.dhaya@principal-hayley.com as she will be more than happy to assist you.

Kind Regards

Yiannis Constantinou
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these London hotels

1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2012

Hotel Russel its self is in a wonderful location in london and very close to a tube station. The hotel is no better than any three star hotels i've stayed in however. the room was very nice and the bed very comfortable but the bathroom of our room was compact to say the least! The biggest and most prominent fault with this hotel however was the staffs attitude. As we were a young couple, they seemed to have a stuck up attitude toward us and we seen them be much more helpful to other hotel residents. Everytime we asked a question we got a minimal answer and disregarded so they could help a more "wealthy" looking couple. So as long as you look posh you'll be fine staying here, but if your just a normal down to earth person prepare for an attitude problem!

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AlicesInput
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices_10, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, November 4, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor. I am so disappointed to read that you found some members of our team unhelpful.

We genuinely pride ourselves in assisting all of our guests and ensuring that their stay is relaxing and comfortable as possible. Please accept our sincere apologies if you felt that our staff were unhelpful as compared to other guests, I can personally assure you that this was not our intention and I am sorry if this came across in that manner. We usually receive many compliments regarding the friendliness of professionalism of our entire team.

I do hope that you may have the opportunity to experience the exceptional service that we are so well known for at Hotel Russell in the future.

Kind Regards


Yiannis Constantinou
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
67 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 27, 2012

I was here for 7 nights and booked a single room. The hotel's location is a real plus and the facade looked amazing. All in all, I thought I had made a good choice. Not the cheapest hotel in London but not outrageous. Upon seeing my room, my self congratulatory pat on the back seemed like a punch.

Now, I know I booked a single room. I hadn't quite imagined the tiny single bed though. I'm a fully grown adult (mostly) and that sad little single bed was plonked almost in the middle of the room. I swear that Uncle Johnny's 10 year stretch in Barlinnie was probably spent in more commodious accomodations. There's undoubtedly an EU regulation that would prevent you leaving a cat in a room this small. Sadly, it doesn't extend to us humans.

Clearly my room had been a stair cupboard in a former life. In fact, the bathroom was larger than the room. The enormous furniture, purchased for a room where cat-swinging was a possibility, made me feel like I was living in the land of the giants. Let's not talk about the useless table/lamp combo. A draught and it would wobble like bowling pin.

I can count on one hand the number of times I've gone to reception to complain but after my first night, I was straight down there. The lamp wasn't working (and as my table/lamp was so rickety, light was the only use for it). The bathroom radiator wasn't working either. But the worst, oh the worst was the air conditioning. Every time the thermostat kicked in, it sounded like someone was trying to start a Soviet-era Ukrainian tractor in my room. With a crank.

They helpfully suggested that I move room but I had to do it immediately and I couldn't as would be late for a meeting. It seemed to escape their notice that they really should have been trying to solve this for me and not the other way around. Anyway, they managed to fix it and the only thing that woke me up after that was the lumpy bed and the shouting drunks in the street. DIdn't I mention that they don't have secondary glazing and I couldn't close my windows properly? Lik, there was a gap. Like.

The breakfast was absolutely fine. I never waited. The bar itself was nice but the staff were far too slow and a bit confused. There were too many Basil Fawlty moments for my liking. All of this for £160 per night.

The staff were generally friendly and welcoming but you could tell that some of them had lost the will to work. They were present in body but the mind and the spirit had checked into a nicer hotel down the road. Like I wish I had done.

Room Tip: Find another hotel.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank stevenr35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices_10, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, November 4, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor. I am sorry to read that you were unhappy with certain aspects of your stay with us.

Due to the size and age of the building each purpose built room has its own unique shape and charm. Please let me assure you that the beds are the standard single size which has not normally been a concern for any of our guests in the past. Our rooms have been individually furnished to enhance the elegance of each room including the lamps and tables. I am sorry that this was not to your taste. We do have a range of more spacious room types including a single executive rooms, double rooms as well as suites and do hope that you will have the opportunity to experience this in the future.

I do apologise that you encountered a few concerns with your lamp and radiator on the first night of your stay as well as found your air conditioning unit too noisy. I am pleased that our Maintenance team were able to repair this for you as soon as possible and also ensured that your air conditioning unit was placed on a lower, quieter setting.

I am pleased that our Reception team were able to offer you a the option of a different room, hence ensuring that you were not inconvenienced by our maintenance team.

I am also sorry that you were able to hear members of the public in the street which unfortunately was beyond our control. I only wish you had informed us that you were unable to close your window as we would have also ensured that this was done for you and hence prevented any outside noise from disturbing you.

I am pleased that you enjoyed our breakfast with us as we do ensure that we create a wide variety of dishes to suit any taste.

I do hope that we will have the opportunity to turn around your experience for you at Hotel Russell in the future. Please do also inform us of any preferences that you may have as we endeavour to make each guest feel comfortable and relaxed throughout their stay with us.

Kind Regards

Yiannis Constantinou
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
45 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 27, 2012

Having stayed many times before,I was disappointed in the accommodation, a single room that had certainly seen better days also the en suite required the shower to be power washed, yuch ! not acceptable from an hotel of their star rating. My schedule was to tight and i did not have the time to get the room changed. Disappointing experience also the room rate was £99 stg dearer than last year- why!

Room Tip: read the reviews, then, decide !!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank brigantine532
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices_10, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, November 4, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor. I am so sorry to read of the disappointment you experienced with your stay on this occasion.

We pride ourselves on providing exceptional service and I do apologise if you felt that the shower was not cleaned to a high standard. Each room is cleaned by a room attendant and then inspected by an experienced supervisor, however I have shared your comments with our Housekeeping Manager for her consideration.

We understand that time is of the essence, especially in London, but only wished you had called down to our Reception team to inform us of this as we would have done our utmost to rectify this for you.

I do hope that we will have the opportunity to turn around your experience in the future and provide you with the high standards that you are accustomed to at Hotel Russell.

Kind Regards

Yiannis Constantinou
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manchester
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2012

Stayed in this hotel during a trip to London for work, luckly only one night but that was more than enough time in this hotel. Upon arriving it is a impressive looking building but once inside it was apparent how out of date and badly kept the hotel is

Also a big negative about this hotel is noise. I moved rooms twice but between the 1. traffic noise 2. the numerous power genrators dotted around it was impossible to get any sleep no matter what floor you are on

Take my advise and do not visit this hotel!

Room Tip: Do not stay here!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lizsmith86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices_10, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, November 4, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor. I am so disappointed to read that you did not enjoy your stay with us.

We are extremely proud of the rich heritage and structure of our building. We have ensured that we have maintained the grandeur of this magnificent design in both the exterior and interior of our building. We receive many compliments on a daily basis regarding this and I am sorry that this was not to your liking.

I do apologise that that the central London noise was a disturbance for you. Due to size and age of the building we do have a central air conditioning unit in our court yard which normally makes a slight humming noise. Our hotel is fully booked on most nights and this is not a usual concern on any floor. I only wished you had informed us that you preferred an extremely quiet room as we would have been more than happy to assist you and find a room more to your liking.

Should you stay with us in the future please do inform us of your preferences and we will do our utmost to accommodate you at Hotel Russell.

Kind Regards

Yiannis Constantinou
Hotel Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Principal London

Property: The Principal London
Address: 1 - 8 Russell Square, London WC1B 5BE, England (Formerly Hotel Russell)
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > Bloomsbury
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#285 Family Hotel in London
#295 Luxury Hotel in London
#346 Romantic Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Principal London 4*
Number of rooms: 373
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are delighted to present The Principal London which will open in stages throughout the course of the summer, and will fully launch in September 2017. The Principal London is an iconic establishment nestled in the heart of the city. Whether you wish to indulge in a spot of shopping or want to host a conference at one of London's most exclusive addresses, The Principal London is the perfect base for business or leisure. ... more   less 
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TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Agoda, Cheap Tickets, TripOnline SA and HotelQuickly so you can book your The Principal London reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Russell Hotel London
Hotel London Russell
Russel Hotel London
The Principal London England

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